Michael Harrower

Michael Harrower

Associate Professor of Archaeology
Director of Undergraduate Studies for Archaeology Major

PhD, Ohio State University

Gilman 140
Personal Website

Michael Harrower is an archaeologist whose research concentrates on long-term histories from the beginnings of agriculture through the rise of ancient states across Southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa. His interests in archaeological theory center on the interface of scientific and humanistic perspectives in archaeology especially as expressed in studies of environmental and social landscapes. Thematically, his recent research concentrates on spatial, political and ideological dynamics of water. Methodologically, he is a specialist in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, satellite imagery, advanced GPS, and ancient irrigation.

Harrower's current fieldwork in Oman and Ethiopia includes a NASA-funded study of long-term water histories using a combination of archaeological survey (exploration) and satellite imagery analysis. In Ethiopia, investigations have recently concentrated on Pre-Aksumite through Late-Aksumite (1000 BC to 700 AD) settlement patterns, and excavations of the newly discovered ancient town of Beita Semati. In Oman, recent research has involved wide-ranging archaeological survey along with satellite imagery detection of copper resources and past irrigation.

Southern Red Sea Archaeological Histories (SRSAH) Project

Archaeological Water Histories of Oman (ArWHO) Project

Spatial Observation Lab for Archaeological Research (SOLAR)

Professor Harrower’s core teaching responsibilities include archaeology of the ancient world up to the rise of cities and civilizations (World Prehistory), along with analytical techniques, concepts, and epistemology in archaeology (Archaeological Method and Theory).  His teaching also concentrates on spatial archaeology (including applications of satellite imagery and various computer mapping technologies), geoarchaeology, archaeology of water, and the archaeology of Africa and Arabia.  Courses Harrower regularly teaches at Johns Hopkins include:

World Prehistory

Archaeological Method and Theory

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Archaeology

Space Archaeology: Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing, GIS and GPS

Nomads, Tyrants, and Kings: Water in the Ancient Near East

Archaeology of Arabia

Archaeology of Africa

Geoarchaeology: Applications of Earth Science to Archaeology

Wiig, F., M.J. Harrower, A.P. Braun, S. Nathan, J.W. Lehner, K.M. Simon, J.O. Sturm, J. Trinder, I.A. Dumitru, S. Hensely, T. Clark (in press) Mapping a Subsurface Water Channel with X-band and C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar at the Iron Age Archaeological Site of ‘Uqdat al-Bakrah (Safah), Oman. Geosciences

Sivitskis, A.J., M.J. Harrower, H. David-Cuny, I.A. Dumitru, S. Nathan, F. Wiig, D.R. Viete, K.W. Lewis, A.K. Taylor, E.N. Dollarhide, B. Zaitchik, S. Al-Jabri, K.J.T. Livi, A. Braun (2018) Hyperspectral Satellite Imagery Detection of Ancient Raw Material Sources: Soft-stone Vessel
Production at Aqir al-Shamoos (Oman). Archaeological Prospection

Harrower, M.J. and S. Nathan (2018) Ancient water management in Southern Arabia: Creativity, resilience, and sustainability in Yemen and Oman, in Water and Society from Ancient Times to the Present: Resilience, Decline, and Revival, pp. 201-218, Federica Sulas and Innocent Pikirayi (editors), Taylor & Francis/Routledge: Abingdon, UK.

Harrower, M.J. (2018) Spatial Archaeology, Hydrology and the Historical Dynamics of Water in Ancient Southern Arabia (Yemen and Oman), in Water and Power in Past Societies, E. Holt (editors), University of Buffalo: Albany, NY.

Harrower, M., H. David-Cuny, S. Nathan, I.A. Dumitru, S. Al-Jabri (2016) First discovery of ancient soft-stone (chlorite) vessel production in Arabia: Aqir al-Shamoos (Oman). Arabian
Archaeology and Epigraphy 27(2): 197-207.

Harrower, M. (2016) Spacetime Mapping the Ancient Near East: Scalability and Seamlessness in  Theory and Practice of Spatial Archaeology, In Framing Archaeology in the Near East, Pp. 7-20,
I. Milevski and T.E. Levy (editors), Equinox: Sheffield.

Sullivan, E. and M. Harrower (2015) The Future of Spatial Technologies in Egyptology. In Joyful in Thebes: Egyptological Studies in Honor of Betsy M. Bryan. Pp. 447-460, eds. R. Jasnow and K.M. Cooney, Lockwood Press: London.

Harrower, M., M. Senn, and J. McCorriston (2014) Tombs, Triliths and Oases: Spatial Analysis of the Arabian Human Social Dynamics Project (AHSD), Archaeological Survey 2009-2010.  Journal of Oman Studies 18: 145-151.

McCorriston, J., M. Harrower, T. Steimer-Herbet, K. Williams, M. Senn, M. Al-Hadhari, M. Al-Kathiri, A. Al-Kathiri, J.-F. Saliege, J. Everhart (2014) Monuments and Landscape of Mobile Pastoralists in Dhofar: The Arabian Human Social Dynamics (AHSD) Project, 2009-2011. Journal of Oman Studies 18: 117-143. 

Harrower, M.J. and A.C. D’Andrea (2014) Landscapes of State Formation: Geospatial Analysis of Aksumite Settlement Patterns (Ethiopia). African Archaeological Review 31: 513-541

Harrower, M.J., K.M. O'Meara, J.J. Basile, C.J. Hickman, J.L. Swerida, I.A. Dumitru, J.L. Bongers, C.J. Bailey, E. Fieldhouse (2014) If a picture is worth a thousand words...3D modelling of a Bronze Age tower in Oman.  World Archaeology 46(1): 43-62.

Harrower, M., E.A. Oches, J. McCorriston (2012) Hydro-Geospatial Analysis of Ancient Pastoral/Agro-Pastoral Landscapes along Wadi Sana (Yemen).  Journal of Arid Environments 86: 131-138.

McCorriston, J., M. Harrower, L. Martin, E. Oches (2012) Cattle Cults of the Arabian Neolithic and Early Territorial Societies.  American Anthropologist 114(1): 45-63.

Bongers, J., E. Arkush, M. Harrower (2012) Landscapes of Death: GIS-based Analyses of Chullpas in the Western Lake Titicaca Basin.  Journal of Archaeological Science 39(6): 1687-1693.
McCorriston, J., T. Steimer-Herbet, M. Harrower, K. Williams, J.-F. Saliege, A. Bin  ‘Aqil (2011) Gazetteer of Small Scale Monuments in Prehistoric Hadramawt, Yemen: a radiocarbon chronology from RASA-AHSD Project research 1996-2008.  Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 22: 1-22.

Harrower, M., J. McCorriston, A. D’Andrea (2010) General/Specific, Local/Global: Comparing Transitions to Agriculture in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia/Eritrea) and Southwest Arabia (Yemen). American Antiquity 75(3): 452-472.

Harrower, M. (2010) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Hydrological Modeling in Archaeology: An Example from the Origins of Irrigation in Southwest Arabia (Yemen). Journal of Archaeological Science 37(7): 1447-1452.

Harrower, M. (2009) Is the Hydraulic Hypothesis Dead Yet? Irrigation and Social Change in Ancient Yemen. World Archaeology 41 (1): 58-72.

Harrower, M. (2008) Hydrology, Ideology and the Origins of Irrigation in Ancient Southwest Arabia (Yemen). Current Anthropology 49(3): 497-510.

Harrower, M. (2008) Mapping and Dating Incipient Irrigation in Wadi Sana, Hadramawt (Yemen). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 38:187-202.

D'Andrea, A. C., A. Manzo, M. Harrower, and A. Hawkins (2008) Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite Settlement of Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia. Journal of Field Archaeology 33(2):151-176.

McCorriston, J., M. Harrower, E. A. Oches, Abdalaziz Bin 'Aqil (2005) Foraging Economies and Population in the Middle Holocene Highlands of Southern Yemen. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 35:143-154.

McCorriston, J. and M. Harrower (2005) Annales History, Geographic Information Systems, and the Analysis of Landscape in Hadramawt, Yemen, Pp. 31-41 in In Temps et Espaces de l'Homme en Société: Analyses et Modèles Spatiaux en Archéologie. Eds. J.-F. Berger, F. Bertoncello, and F. Braemer. Antibes: Éditions APDCA.

Harrower, M., J. McCorriston and E. A. Oches (2002) Mapping the Roots of Agriculture in Southern Arabia: The Application of Satellite Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) Technologies. Archaeological Prospection 9:35-42.